I recently got a call from a friend who was frustrated. She’s had eczema her whole life and often dealt with stares and questions from people who simply didn’t understand what it was. Recently, her job informed her they had received complaints from people who assumed she was contagious. Their answer to this was that she would have to wear long sleeves year-round now. Fact is, besides often being misunderstood eczema can usually be effectively helped naturally.
What is it?
Eczema is a skin condition that affects men and women of all ages. Often it occurs in infants and children and is outgrown by adulthood, though that is not always the case. Typically, it is treated by medications that contain steroids which only treat the symptoms and have no focus on the problem. This chronic skin condition is commonly hereditary and comes with a family history of food allergies and asthma.
- Blisters with oozing and crusting
- Raw areas from scratching
- Dry skin
- Ear discharge or bleeding
- Leather-like areas
Some doctors and dermatologist believe food and diet play little role in this condition. However, most people that have successfully stopped eczema from taking over their lives will tell you the first thing they changed was their diet. Food allergies and certain food intolerances are often the cause an increase in eczema. Promoting good gut health, especially in children you can often help prevent an outbreak. Many have found a real food diet to be beneficial and often start with a GAPS diet for gut health and healing. You can also try eliminating certain foods and looking for improvement – start with common allergies like gluten, soy, and dairy.
Often Eczema starts with a trigger – and this may not always be diet related. Some common one are:
- Certain fabrics – such as wool, synthetics, or other rough materials.
- Detergents – use a natural, fragrance- free, low pH detergent.
- Tobacco smoke
- Extreme cold
- Heat and humidity
- Harsh chemicals – these can be anywhere (makeup, lotions, perfumes, soaps, ect)
- Pet dander
- Diet/food allergy
From this list you can see many of the triggers are caused by unnatural chemicals, additives, and preservatives. I believe the increase in diagnosed cases of eczema come from a combination of an increase in unnatural chemicals and additives in the products we use and the foods we eat.
Helping eczema starts with knowing what causes it. Once you figure out what the trigger is you can better control it and often stop it all together. However, until it is under control the symptoms can be helped naturally by:
- Cod Liver Oil – fish oils not only boost the immune system but are also known to reduce allergic responses.
- Calendula oil – you can add this to a bath or rub it on the skin. It is anti-inflammatory and a very good healing source for the skin.
- Probiotics – naturally post your bodies immune response.
- Tea tree oil – can be added to a bath, used as with a carrier oil, or made into a cream.
- Flax seed – omega-3 fatty-acids have been known to greatly improve eczema.
- Soothing Skin Balm — A blend of calendula-infused oil and rich mango butter to nourish damaged skin, with glycerin to promote normal cellular growth.
Eczema is common but that isn’t a comfort to the millions who have it. A natural, green lifestyle can greatly improve symptoms by cutting out the things that so commonly trigger reactions. By eating real food, boosting your immune system, and avoiding known triggers you should be able to keep eczema from taking over your life.